Median monthly pay up by 6.6% in July 2022

median monthly payEarly estimates for July 2022 from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) indicate that median monthly pay was £2,108, a 6.6% increase compared with the same period last year.

According to the findings, pay growth fluctuated around 3.6% until 2020 when it became negative, following an increasing pay growth trend between mid-2015 and mid-2018. This coincided with the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic and related economic and policy responses. From June 2020, median pay growth has been positive and is now above pre-pandemic levels.

The rate of growth in median pay fell between March and May 2020 from 2.5% to -0.9%, but is now higher than the average growth before March 2020, which was 3.8% a month prior.

Broken down by sector, median monthly pay in July 2022 ranged from £1,101 in accommodation and food services, to £3,470 in finance and insurance. Compared with the same month in 2021, median monthly pay grew fastest in finance and insurance (8.3%) and slowest in the arts and entertainment (1.9%). 

Overall, median monthly pay was found to be higher for those in the central age bands, ranging from £394 for those aged under 18, to £2,481 for those aged between 35 and 49.

The ONS data also looked at the average weekly earnings from April to June 2022. Growth in average total pay, including bonuses, was found to be 5.1% over this period, while regular pay growth, excluding bonuses, was 4.7%.

In real terms, namely adjusted for inflation, growth in total and regular pay fell year-on-year, at 2.5% and 3%, respectively – a record fall for regular pay.

Average total pay growth for the private sector was 5.9% in April to June 2022, and 1.8% for the public sector.

Matt Weston, senior managing director for the UK, Ireland, the Benelux region and United Arab Emirates at Robert Half, said: “Wages will inevitably continue to rise in the current climate but striking a balance between business and staff needs is vital.

“Robert Half recognises most medium to large businesses agree that the cost-of-living squeeze has the potential to push employees to seek higher salaries elsewhere if they don’t address it. Retention is key, and if employers aren’t keeping up with rising expenses and adjusting salaries or bonus structure, then they risk losing top talent.”

Joanne Frew, interim global head of employment and pensions at DWF, added: “The statistics suggest that smaller businesses are changing their recruitment practices more quickly than larger ones, with the decrease in vacancies being driven largely by companies with fewer than 50 employees.

“Consequently, the pressure remains on employers to find new and innovative ways to present themselves as the employer of choice to prevent their talent leaving. Good benefit packages, flexible working, a supportive culture and development opportunities within the business continue to be important to both attract and retain staff.”